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November 16, 2018

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Stark County's Career Technical Education: Not Your Parents' Vocational Education

The days of bringing home birdhouses from shop are over. The vocational education of the last century has morphed into something new and different in the 21st Century - high performing career and technical education that opens a wide range of opportunities for students.

How high performing? Through Stark County's six career tech planning districts[1], an astonishing 96% of the 1,558 graduates enrolled in 2017/18 found placement after high school - meaning they were apprenticed, employed, enlisted in the military, or went on to higher education. Of those recent graduates, 876 went on to higher education and another 584 earned industry recognized credentials. So impressive were Stark's results that four of the six career tech programs earned an "A" rating on post program outcomes from the state.[2] 

Today's career tech has programs for students in all career pathways. Agriculture, business, health sciences, construction, and engineering are top enrollment areas. By maximizing student learning through its close association with real-work knowledge and skills, career tech provides authentic experiences needed for meaningful careers.[3] In Ohio, there are over 120,000 high school juniors and seniors enrolled in career tech - nearly 22% of the entire 9th-12th grade enrollment in the state. 

The State of Ohio calls career tech value-added education"It not only includes challenging academic and technical content, it has strong relationships with business/industry and higher education." It's not unusual to find career tech students in advanced placement or dual credit classes, or continuing on to earn college degrees. In addition to meeting Ohio Core graduation requirements, students take 450 to 900 hours of additional career-focused coursework[4].

Every school district in Stark County belongs to a planning district and enrollment is open to all students.

[4] Ibid
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The Stark Education Partnership - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Stark County, Ohio -  is a catalyst, engaging and collaborating with education, business, civic and community stakeholders to drive sustainable improvement and innovation to provide all students with education and career success.  

Questions or comments? Email or call 330-452-0829. Visit our website at
Stark Education Partnership, 400 Market Avenue North - Suite B, Canton, OH 44702
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